Dear State Board: About The BSU Presidential Applicants …

From the information I have gathered concerning the applicants for the succesor to Dr. Kustra, I have come to this conclusion.

Start over.

I have watched the candidate videos speaking to Boise State faculty and students, read their resumes, researched news sources about their past, spoke to a search committe member and a concerned high level Boise State professor. I have had several conversations or professional relationships with every Boise State President in the last 38 years. Boise State needs a more dynamic person with vision, fire and great academic people around him. This hire isnt about “how things have been done in the past ” or ” what we did last time.” The State Board hired the Boise State legal man, Kevin Satterlee, who doesnt even have a doctorate, to run Idaho State. They can think out of the box again. And, it certainly isn’t about looking at when the State Board hired Kustra and comparing the two situations.

What the hell is the same about 2018 at Boise State compared to 2003?

Kustra willed this school to $400 million dollars worth of new facilities and buildings. And more coming. He over saw a campaign that raised $185.4 million to help pay for those things from the private sector. Athletics has new suites, press box, an indoor facility, football facility, grass practice area, 3 Fiesta Bowls, a Top 25 football program and Dona Larson park. The skill set to manage that has changed in 2018 and beyond.

Think about it. Hire somebody who has experience inheriting this kind of opportunity or has watched it happen as the 2nd in command. Think Oregon, Utah, Louisville, and TCU. Not Oakland University, Portland State and Northern British Columbia University. Hire a HEAD HUNTER not a survey taker. Its like the search firm didn’t as much target candidates as they just saw who was ready to leave and wanted a new job. If it is differant then that, tell us.

Here is the letter I wrote to the State Board. I encourage you to do the same. NOW. Email


I am an alumnus of Boise State University. I have lived in Boise for 38 years. I am concerned about the future of Boise State. I have read the 5 resumes of the presidential finalists and watched most of the faculty/student videos. I have spoken with on campus leaders and folks on your committee.

Can we do better?

I assume you have that answer. I understand your job is very difficult. Selling education to people is a tough go in Idaho. Selling others on waiting longer for the right person to be the next BSU president could also be a sales job. I am sure you can do it. 

Boise State has conditioned the public it serves to be led with dynamic vision, action and aggressive movement.

These candidates lack charisma, energy and a hell bent passion to lead by example. What is their experience in the digital world, business and athletics? How much have they served students in the Northwest, worked at a top FBS football school or an urban Northwest campus fighting for a national niche?

I am looking for a president that business leaders want to meet with because they add value with innovation, a person who has experience in issues surrounding athletics and can become a national leader at the NCAA level for Boise State. Working the private sector for support is mission critical and having a skill set to engage those people is mandatory.  Dr. Thomas had some limited NCAA experience mostly in the student athlete academic area and nowhere close to the real mover and shakers in Division 1 athletics.  The others have zero experience. The job description reads that Boise State Division 1 athletics is an integral part of the institution. Wouldn’t experience leading a school in that way count?


Please re-consider the candidate selection process. We can’t miss on this and having the backing and confidence of the concerned community is important to the next Boise State leader.

Thanks for reading this and I wish you the best on this process.


Jeff Caves